There are event tie-in issues that enrich the series they support. In some cases, these comics, unencumbered by the weight of multiple issues, can even surpass the event they tie into, whether for amazing character work or just flat-out awesome moments.
Sadly, Avengers #1.MU by writer Jim Zub and artist Sean Izaakse is not one of those tie-in comics.
Avengers #1.MU (Marvel Comics)
I read Mark Waid’s Avengers series, so I had to pick up this book – because that’s how comics work. And Marvel gets that. So, right off the bat, let’s all just call this story out for what it truly is: a cash grab with a $4.99 price tag. I don’t mean to be so critical, but I’m a reader who values a good story above everything else. For the sake of readers with a limited monthly comics budget, I need to be blunt – this isn’t a story that needed to be told.
This is an Avengers comic, but it starts like your average Spider-Man tale, with Spidey meeting up with Jimmy Dee, who’s got a tip about the Maggia. The international crime syndicate plans to reunite in Boston (which really seems to bug Spidey). This simple information is spread out across three pages and interspersed between some social media and technology jokes. Because if there’s one thing Jimmy Dee doesn’t do, it’s “Tumble-Tweet!”
During this conversation, Spider-Man briefly assumes the role of a Marvel editor and points out that these days, he tends to leave “street-level stuff” to Miles Morales. Way to let that Parker Industries money not go to your head, Pete.
What’s funny, though, is when Spidey then takes this information to the Avengers, they too think they’re above street crime in Boston. Can I just point out that AiPT! is based in Boston? Good to know the Avengers have our backs, yeesh. I’m sure this back and forth was meant to be funny, but it just makes the Avengers look petty. The Wasp thinks it’s below their pay grade and then Spidey reminds them that Peter Parker keeps the Avengers’ lights on.
Trump’s America, though.So, yes, if you read Monsters Unleashed #1, this is the story of how the Avengers got to Boston to eventually battle some monsters. Let me emphasize that “eventually,” because halfway through this book I was like, “This is supposed to be about monsters, right?”
We’re then treated to a monster battle that features much of the same action – and dialogue – from the main Monsters Unleashed book. All this before it sets up another MU one-shot I will not be buying.
What works here? The art by Sean Izaakse, for sure! His style reminded me a lot of Carlos Pacheco’s, especially his rendition of the Wasp and those battle scenes. In fact, I even went back to the credits page to check and see if Pacheco was pitching in. Maybe it was the coloring by Frank D’Armata. Either way, I now know Izaakse’s name and would love to see it on the cover of a Marvel series on a monthly basis.
I know Monsters Unleashed is meant to be a fun event – classic superhero mayhem. More Michael Bay than Civil War II. It’s possible fans of MU’s first issue will love this tie-in just as much. But from a cost perspective, I just can’t justify this comic’s existence. Maybe if this book had a $2.99 price tag, I’d be a little kinder. But $5?
The monsters have been unleashed – HIDE YOUR WALLETS!